Toys R Us, Maplin in Banbury under threat as retailers go into administration

Toys R Us
Toys R Us

Toys R Us and Maplin have gone into administration today (Wednesday, February 28), putting employees at the Banbury branches at risk of losing their jobs.

The UK arm of Toys R Us, which only opened a store in Castle Quay Shopping Centre last year, said all of its 105 branches will remain open until further notice.

While Maplin, which has a store at Banbury Cross Retail Park, was unable to secure a new buyer and its chief executive Graham Harris said it had ‘no alternative’ but to go into administration.

“The business has worked hard over recent months to mitigate a combination of impacts from sterling devaluation post Brexit, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance,” he said.

“This necessitated an intensive search for new capital that in current market conditions has proved impossible to raise.

“These macro factors have been the principal challenge not the Maplin brand or its market differentiation.

“We believe passionately that Maplin has a place on the high street, and that our trust, credibility and expertise meets a customer need that is not supported elsewhere.

“We will now work tirelessly alongside Zelf Hussain, Toby Underwood and Ian Green, from PWC, who have been appointed as the as Joint Administrators of Maplin Electronics Limited, to achieve the best possible outcome for all of our colleagues and stakeholders.” Poor sales have meant Toys R Us was unlikely to pay off it £15m tax bill or find a new buyer, which ultimately resulted in the appointment of administrators.

Simon Thomas, joint administrator at Moorfields, the company put in charge of Toys R Us’ finances, said: ‘’We will be conducting an orderly wind-down of the store portfolio over the coming weeks.

“All stores remain open until further notice and stock will be subject to clearance and special promotions.

“We’re encouraging customers to redeem their gift cards and vouchers as soon as possible.

‘’We will make every effort to secure a buyer for all or part of the business.

“The newer, smaller, more interactive stores in the portfolio have been outperforming the older warehouse-style stores that were opened in the 1980s and 1990s.

‘’Whilst this process is likely to affect many Toys R Us staff, whether some or all of the stores will close remains to be decided.

“We have informed employees about the process this morning and will continue to keep them updated on developments.

“We are grateful for the commitment and hard work of employees as the business continues to trade.”